Leading pair edge clear of pack in race for Lotto NRFL Women’s Championship

By Joan Grey

Onehunga Sports and Fencibles United have waged a see-saw battle at the head of this season’s Lotto NRFL Women’s Championship table.

Last weekend, Onehunga Sports reclaimed top spot, with a 2-0 win over third-placed Franklin United.

Franklin United, Tauranga City, and Otumoetai still hold a mathematical chance of climbing to first position and subsequent promotion to the Lotto NRFL Women’s Premier League.

But, realistically, the more probable promotion contenders are frontrunners Onehunga Sports or Fencibles United, and attention now shifts to their remaining matches.

Game of the week

Fencibles United are bound for Tauranga on Sunday, where they will take on the mid-table Otumoetai side.

Otumoetai have proven to be a strong side this season, with eight wins and two draws.

After last week’s unexpected 1-1 stalemate with bottom-placed Central United, a game Fencibles were expected to win, Fencibles will be eager to regain their stride in Tauranga.

This season, the first clash between Otumoetai and Fencibles ended in a 3-2 victory for Otumoetai.

In the sides’ more recent encounter in the Kate Sheppard Cup, Fencibles turned the tide, winning 3-2.

Player to watch

Combining composure on the ball and speed, Danielle Fowler (17) is a force to be reckoned with in the Otumoetai backline as a full-back or centre-back.

Fowler is also part of the Maori Football Aotearoa team and recently played in their match against Hawaii.

Onehunga Sports’ Robyn Fisher takes on the Manukau United defence at Walter Massey Park. Photo: Andrew Skinner / Phototek.

Bold prediction

Basement battlers Central United meet pinnacle pursuers Onehunga Sports on Sunday.

Onehunga have been in impeccable form. They’ve won their last three games, in which they’ve scored ten and conceded zero.

On paper, you’d expect this weekend’s scoreline to be strongly in Onehunga’s favour.

But this season, Central have proven they can hold their ground against the league’s strongest opponents; they drew against Fencibles last Friday.

Maybe a surprise 1-1 will be in store.


Games to be played on Sunday August 13, 2023

Tauranga City v Manukau United
Links Ave, Mt Maunganui, 1pm

Fencibles United v Otumoetai
William Green Domain, Pakuranga, 1pm

Te Atatu v Franklin United
Te Atatu Peninsula Park, Te Atatu, 1pm

Central United v Onehunga Sports
Kiwitea St, Sandringham, 1pm

Joan Grey

Friends of Football writer Joan Grey loves playing and writing about football. She plays football for Franklin United.

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